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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Monday, December 14, 2015

SCOTUS Orders etc.

And Also:  Interesting district court opinion on the contraceptive mandate as applied to a non-religious (explains why) institution.  The opinion at one point cites a major concern of mine: “contraceptive care is by no means the sole form of heath care that implicates religious concerns.”  One nice point, in an opinion from the judge somewhat famous for his intelligent design opinion a decade ago, notes currently plans can cover families with diverse views on these subjects.  This goes to the problem with saying there is some other way to protect the ends in question. 


This book on past disputed elections looks interesting and puts Bush v. Gore into perspective. It is not a total outlier or something.

SCOTUS had its final scheduled order/opinion day.  The one case taken as shown by this past summary of the opinion below is something of a technical matter but might continue the concern of some justices of the due process abilities of tribal courts in the Dollar Store oral argument. Should a tribal conviction be used for federal sentencing purposes in the case in question if the conviction was not in pursuant to federal constitutional rights (the overlap on tribal lands is inexact and can be a curious footnote, especially since tribal members in general [not sure if there is some obscure exception here] are American citizens too)?

Maybe, not -- maybe some technical issues will dominate. There was a per curiam to hit a lower court on the head with a rolled up newspaper and say "bad! bad activist court! bad!" again. I wonder why these opinions seem all to do with this one area of law.  Lower courts must not need to be schooled in other areas that much. [A defense orientated reply for balance.]

The one authored opinion was a 6-3 (Breyer for the Court, Thomas dissenting briefly, Ginsburg/Sotomayor sounding like Justice Elizabeth Warren, especially at the beginning). It involved arbitration terms, including if California rules classes with the federal one on Supremacy Clause grounds. 

After some thought we were done -- though there was always a chance for some special order -- another order was handed down in a pending case. As the link notes: it "granted a lesbian mother’s request to have the adoption of her former partner’s children be enforced while the court decides whether to hear her appeal of an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that the adoption was void." It involves a messy dispute that raises full faith and credit issues.

Meanwhile the justices continue to be out and about while telling us it would not be a good thing for the Supreme Court itself to televise its oral arguments (or opinion announcements/public transactions).  Justice Breyer talked with NPR. And, Kagan was involved in an appeal to a trial of Salome for conspiring to kill John the Baptist.  Interesting stuff, including the brief in support of Salome.  Justices take part in these things from time to time and they tend to be a bit tongue in cheek while also serving an educative purpose.

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